Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

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Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:07 am

78
One should dread the afflictions,
But should not end the afflictions.
To gather the manifold forms of goodness, one should
Use blocking methods to fend off afflictions.

79
For the bodhisattva, afflictions accord with his nature.
He is not one who takes nirvana as his very nature.
Is it not the case the burning up of the afflictions
Allows one to generate the seed of bodhi.

80
As for the predictions bestowed on those other beings,
These predictions involved specific causal circumstances.
They were solely a function of the Buddha's artfulness
In taking the perfection of skillful means "to the far shore."

81
Similes for their plight reference "empty space," "lotus flowers,"
"Precipitous cliffs," and "a deep abyss."
Their realms bar it. Analogies cite "non-virility" and "kacamani,"
With an additional comparison made to "burnt seeds."

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Am I understanding this right? Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment. I thought Bodhicitta caused Bodhisattvas to be reborn. And how can you attain enlightenment with afflictions?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby smcj » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:17 am

Am I understanding this right? Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment. I thought Bodhicitta caused Bodhisattvas to be reborn. And how can you attain enlightenment with afflictions?

I haven't a clue.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:03 am

smcj wrote:
Am I understanding this right? Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment. I thought Bodhicitta caused Bodhisattvas to be reborn. And how can you attain enlightenment with afflictions?

I haven't a clue.
The commentary makes it clearer but it's like two pages to copy out...
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Will » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:57 am

Konchog1:
Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment.


It is more like "Bodhisattvas must use afflictions to avoid sinking into a useless-for-others, yet blissful nirvana, like an Arhat or Pratyekabuddha. Arhats will never attain supreme & full buddhahood, like a Buddha, because their merit is focused on themselves, not all beings."
Last edited by Will on Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby dude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:39 am

The practice of the bodhisattva is neither to cut off the forces that bind or drive him, nor to abide in the sea of such driving forces. Observing the mind, he sees there is no real mind, arising as it does from topsy-turvy thoughts. A mind with aspects such as this arises p.388from deluded thoughts, like the wind in the sky that has no resting place.[i][/I

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby dude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:42 am

smcj wrote:
Am I understanding this right? Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment. I thought Bodhicitta caused Bodhisattvas to be reborn. And how can you attain enlightenment with afflictions?

I haven't a clue.


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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:54 am

Will wrote:Konchog1:
Bodhisattvas must have afflictions to attain enlightenment and Arhats will never attain enlightenment.


It is more like "Bodhisattvas must use afflictions to avoid sinking into a useless-for-others, yet blissful nirvana, like an Arhat or Pratyekabuddha. Arhats will never attain supreme & full buddhahood, like a Buddha, because their merit is focused on themselves, not all beings."


Will has got the gist of it.

Reasons being, if a bodhisattva prematurely eliminates the afflictions before developing the specific qualities of a buddha, they will become an arhat, not a buddha; as arhats eliminate afflictions and leave samsara, they no longer have the time in samsara to develop the qualities specific to a buddha.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Thanks guys, so when does the Bodhisattva rid himself of the afflictions? Can Arhats ever attain Enlightenment?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby dude » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:49 am

He doesn't. Yes.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:06 am

Konchog1 wrote:Thanks guys, so when does the Bodhisattva rid himself of the afflictions? Can Arhats ever attain Enlightenment?


When they've fulfilled the various qualities specific to a buddha.
They attain liberation from samsara, but not the full awakening of a samyak sambuddha.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:56 am

Huifeng wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Thanks guys, so when does the Bodhisattva rid himself of the afflictions? Can Arhats ever attain Enlightenment?


When they've fulfilled the various qualities specific to a buddha.
They attain liberation from samsara, but not the full awakening of a samyak sambuddha.

~~Huifeng


Are all arhats destined to become samyak sambuddhas in your opinion?
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:10 am

Nighthawk wrote:Are all arhats destined to become samyak sambuddhas in your opinion?


Before answering, I'd just like to reiterate that the above comments are basically from the point of view of the Bodhisambhara sastra, the text in question.

As for the question, not at all, in my opinion. In fact, explaining how any arhat could become a samyak sambuddha is not very easy, and most of the common explanations don't convince me at all.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:31 pm

Huifeng wrote: In fact, explaining how any arhat could become a samyak sambuddha is not very easy, and most of the common explanations don't convince me at all.


Buddhas do not then eventually rouse Arhats from their intoxication with Nirvana in your reading?

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:02 am

Huifeng wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Are all arhats destined to become samyak sambuddhas in your opinion?


Before answering, I'd just like to reiterate that the above comments are basically from the point of view of the Bodhisambhara sastra, the text in question.

As for the question, not at all, in my opinion. In fact, explaining how any arhat could become a samyak sambuddha is not very easy, and most of the common explanations don't convince me at all.

~~Huifeng
What would the Arhats' need? Bodhicitta and a better understanding of emptiness?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:39 am

kirtu wrote:
Huifeng wrote: In fact, explaining how any arhat could become a samyak sambuddha is not very easy, and most of the common explanations don't convince me at all.


Buddhas do not then eventually rouse Arhats from their intoxication with Nirvana in your reading?

Kirt


The idea of "intoxication with nirvana" does not make any sense to me.
Perhaps "intoxication with something-they-think-is-nirvana-but-is-not-nirvana", maybe, but not with respect to nirvana per se.
I consider such expressions as neyartha.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:47 am

Konchog1 wrote:What would the Arhats' need? Bodhicitta and a better understanding of emptiness?


Ummm, neither.

Arhat = game over.

If I may cite the Xiăopĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, Kumārajīva's Chinese, my own English and footnotes:

If a person has already entered into the status of certitude to perfection,[1] they will be unable to arise mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi. For what reason? Because they have already constructed an embankment against the torrent of cyclic birth and death.[2]


With a couple of pertinent footnotes:

[1] This is “samyaktva-niyāmam”. The Upadeśa provides an excellent discussion relevant here: Upadeśa 《大智度論》卷18:「如佛說。若有比丘於諸有為法不能正憶念。欲得世間第一法無有是處。若不得世間第一法。欲入正位中無有是處。若不入正位。欲得須陀洹斯陀含阿那含阿羅漢無有是處。」(CBETA, T25, no. 1509, p. 192, c10-17); = “As the Buddha taught: ‘If a bhikṣu is unable to correctly direct the mind with regards to conditioned dharmas, yet wishes to attain foremost mudane dharmas, this is impossible; if one does not attain foremost mundane dharmas, yet wishes to penetratively [realize] the unconditioned in the fixed status [of dharmas], this is impossible; if one does not penetratively [realize] the fixed status [of dharmas], yet wishes to attain śrotāpanna, śakṛādāgāmi, anāgāmi, or arhatva, this is impossible. … [and the formula in reverse.]”

This is the Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra citing sūtra 《阿毘達磨大毘婆沙論》卷2:「…若不能起世第一法。能入正性離生。無有是處。若不能入正性離生。能得預流一來不還阿羅漢果。無有是處。」(CBETA, T27, no. 1545, p. 5, b9-18). See SN 25:1-10, iii 225-228; = Bodhi (2000: 1004-1007); and SN 13 Abhi­samaya­saṃyutta, Bodhi (2000: 621ff n219 = 787ff): “Both dhammābhisamaya and dhamma­cakkh­upaṭilābha signify the attainment of stream-entry.” Mahā­vibhāṣa Śāstra 《阿毘達磨大毘婆沙論》卷109:CBETA, T27, no. 1545, p. 563, c26-p. 564, a2); etc. Similar to: “stableness of the Dhamma (dhamma-ṭṭhitatā), the fixed practice of Dhamma (dhamma-niyāmatā)” (Bhikkhu Bodhi 2001: “Conditions”, II 12.20 and “Cases of Knowledge”, II 12.34 in Samyutta Nikāya, Wisdom: Boston. p. 551, 573.) – the first two: -ṭṭhitatā (住位性) & niyāmatā (定性). It is a stage of realization, just not yet nirvāṇa.

Thus, Conze’s “[ie. arhats who have reached their last birth, etc.]” is incorrect. It is a point of non-return, only, not finality. Thus, the “fixed status” is preceding realization of the ārya-phalas. This statement is found to be “attainment of stream-entry” (śrota­āpatti) in all the other three earlier sūtras (Dàoxíng, Dàmíngdù(A) and Chāojīng). Xuánzàng’s Dàbōrĕ(4) and (5) even specify it as “śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha certitude”, implying that the bodhisattva’s have a certitude, albeit of a different nature. This is also a critical idea later in the text.

[2] Sanskrit “baddhasīmāno hi te saṃsārasrotasaḥ”. Translation adds “torrent” to connect the metaphor of an “embankment” against a “flooding river”.


This is the very reason why so many Mahayana texts go to so much pain to warn bodhisattvas about falling to the stages of the sravakas or pratyekabuddhas. If one could become an arhat (or pratyekabuddha) and still turn back to the Mahayana, or, must turn back to the Mahayana, all those warning would not make any sense. Why not first become an arhat? The fact being, arhat = game over. End of samsara. So, no chance to develop the special qualities of a Buddha.

I thus take those texts which say otherwise, ie. that arhats can continue on with the Mahayana, to be neyartha teachings, ie. teachings which do not express the real truth of the matter, but are expedients requiring further explanation. Note that most of these neyartha teachings are later, even though they usually claim to be "the real truth". Such claims are more an indication of their own acknowledgement that they differ radically from established points of view.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby dude » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:52 am

“With regard to the buddha wisdom, the world-honored one is never begrudging. Why do I say this? From times past we have in truth been the sons of the Buddha, but we delighted in nothing but lesser doctrines. If we had had the kind of minds that delighted in great ones, then the Buddha would have preached the Law of the great vehicle for us.

“Now in this sutra the Buddha expounds only the one vehicle. And in the past, when in the presence of the bodhisattvas he disparaged the voice-hearers as those who delight in a lesser doctrine, the Buddha was in fact employing the great vehicle to teach and convert us. Therefore we say that, though originally we had no mind to covet or seek such a thing, now the great treasure of the Dharma king has come to us of its own accord. It is something that the sons of the Buddha have a right to acquire, and now they have acquired all of it.”


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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:08 am

Then why would the Buddha teach the Arhat path without at least a small warning that it's game over.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby dude » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:21 am

As an expedient.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:12 am

Konchog1 wrote:Then why would the Buddha teach the Arhat path without at least a small warning that it's game over.


Every teaching of the arhat path states very clearly that it's game over.

"My births are ended, the holy life has been established, what was to be done is done, there is no further becoming."

Sounds pretty clear to me.

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